earnest and at once approached Uncle William, saying that I had a business matter I wished to take up with him. He listened attentively to all I had to say, and suggested that I make up a statement that would show the volume of business I expected we would do; also showing the expenses and the estimated profits. I left my Uncle's house with the feeling that I had made good progress for the first interview, and the next evening I was promptly on hand again with the statement. He looked it over at once, and I well remember his response, which was simply: "Well, if you think it's a good thing you better go into it". I asked him if that meant that he was willing to loan us as a firm the $6,000.00 and he said "YES".
My room-mate, Albert H. Schoudel, had agreed to loan me $1,200. From his savings, and my father had agreed to mortgage his home in Middletown for $1,500. For me. So, upon leaving my Uncle's home after the second interview I felt that the capital was arranged for, and the one remaining thing to do now was to take the matter up with my firm.
The next morning I walked into the private office where they were sitting, and opened the subject by saying — "You told me recently you would like to dispose of the sawmill, and I would like to know how you would feel about disposing of it to me". I clearly discerned their surprise, but the answer came promptly — "We would rather dispose of it to you than anyone else."
I told them that I had been making plans and believed that I was ready to take it if we could make terms that would be mutually satisfactory. With very little delay — I think it was the next day — it was agreed between us that they would assign to us their lease of the mill for which they were paying $3,500.00 per annum, and also lease to us the additional machinery which they themselves had installed to the amount of $4,000.00. On this they would make the rental 10%, or $400.00 per annum.
The mill was being operated as a custom sawmill, with the exception of Spanish Cedar Cigar Box Lumber, which whey sawed and sold on their own account. We agreed upon the price to be paid by us for the manufactured lumber in stock. We also agreed upon terms of payment, and about two weeks thereafter, on June 1, 1875, we painted out the big sign RODMAN & HEPBURN and painted in UPTEGROVE & GEDNEY, and we were a going concern.
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